Shannon and Weaver about sixty years ago wrote a slim volume of mathematical formulae called Information Theory describing how communication works, which became the basis among other things of computers and the Internet. While relatively simple to explain, the ramifications and other elements become quite complicated.
All communication needs a language, which sounds simple except there are quite a few languages, and I do not only mean the hundred or two languages people speak on Earth. In the beginning God had one spoken language, but that was not the only language He needed to communicate and create the universe. He needed the language of science, which is mathematics. He needed the language of music to create the sounds beyond words. He needed the language of form and style to make the created universe symmetrical and beautiful. And so on.
We might assume God created language were it not for the fact that one of the Hebrew roots of God, Yahweh, means He who speaks; so language is probably part of the Nature of God. Adam had a language because God told him to give names to the animals, which is very interesting. Did Adam invent words to name the animals or did he use existing words, which could also be a kind of descriptive of particular animals? We have the word zebra that describes an animal, the zebra, but also means stripes like the shirts of basketball referees. We have orange the color and the fruit as well as lemon, grape, strawberry and pumpkin. English, for example, constantly invents words like Celebrex as well as devours and incorporates words from other languages, which gives English an amazing almost three quarters of a million words in its dictionary.
The language of mathematics, which scientists need to describe the workings of nature, machinery, electricity, computers and so forth might have been used by God except that the Bible describes how the universe was created, by word: Let there be light
For us to make even a simple machine requires a lot of math, sweat and tools, but God just said it and it happened. How did that happen? What was it about His Word that created the in-comprehensibly complicated universe? Did the Words themselves have math built into them as some Bible code interpreters today think? Or, did the math come after the fact, which scientists need to handle the material universe? If God, Yahweh, He who speaks, has the nature of language, then all languages are a part of His Character.
Gen. 1:3 Then God said, Let there be light; and there was light. the waters from the waters.
All languages have several components among them the sound system, a set of words or vocabulary, syntax, a word order or gram-mar. The God who speaks gave humans and most living creatures a form of language from the barking dog to the parroting parrot. The interesting thing about language is how it is accomplished or how the sounds are made. Most creatures form the sounds in the throat by air vibrating some sort of vocal folds. Exceptions exist, as the insect rubbing its wings or legs and critters that click or sea creatures that make sound using water instead of air. Sound incidentally, travels in various media: through solids as its fastest speed, through water at the next fastest speed and through air at its slowest speed and slower the less dense the air. Question: How does God talk in heaven where there must be air or not? Or if Heaven is a black hole, does the density make the sound travel even better? How does what God says travel through space to Earth because space being a near vacuum could hardly allow sounds to be transported?
A new invention recently reported in the Times allows sounds to travel in the medium of light, which then becomes vibrations or sounds when it strikes someone or something within some hundred or so feet. In fact, sound has been traveling through the ether by light waves since Marconi. So God could use any method of speaking as people have invented or some other means unknown, or even unknowable, to us wherever He is.
Words are made up of at least one sound like a, which can be pronounced ah or ae. Sounds are formed by various parts of the mouth from throat to the lips and there are scientific laws that explain how the sounds are made. Some sounds, oddly are voiced and others are silent like the voiced d or the unvoiced t, which are made by the tongue on the palette but with the d with vibration of the vocal folds and the t with just air. Actually the d is de or duh. Even the sound system used in all languages is complicated because God intended the sounds to have meanings in and of themselves as in Hebrew which has root sounds instead of root words. Sounds have rhythm and rhyme as well as just noise. When the sound is musical as in singing, or some instrument, it gives greater emotional intensity to the words. We give you David who glorified God by singing, and we won't go into his dancing, and playing a musical instrument. Here, the praise of God in words was made stronger by the music including its rhyme and rhythm.
Ex. 15:1 Then Moses and the sons of Israel sang this song to the LORD, and said, I will sing to the LORD, for He is highly exalted; The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea. The horse and its rider He has hurled into the sea.
All languages have vocabulary, obviously, which includes both its meaning, denotation, and its sense of meaning, connotation, which also contains its history of meanings that change over the years. In the Greek, word is logos which has the connotation of the thought being in a persons mind before it is spoken or acted upon. Now, we can see in John 1 that God had His language, or Word, in mind before He had reason to speak it verbally. For example, we often hear our thoughts as if we were speaking them; you know, talking to ourselves but without using our voice. God had everything in mind before He spoke it, even better, He made all His plans in the beginning. Surely, no one speaks without having in mind what he is going to say, even those who speak without thinking.
Words by themselves, while having meaning, have no real thought with
out syntax, which is the word order or grammar. Without going into detail, all languages have nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs, and other parts of speech, which, when put together in the right way, or with proper suffixes or prefixes, according to the language, determine meaning. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1). While certainly there is more meaning to the first sentence in the Bible than its words, these works put together in a sentence create a thought beyond the mere words. Each idea expressed has a history and a ramifications growing out of the idea because no concept rests on its own after its first expression. In other words, once the Bible says, in the beginning, its meaning is enhanced by all that follows because there is only one beginning, and what happens after depends on that there was a beginning.
Taking a page from the science manual, language, especially Biblical language, is filled with singularities, which mean a first time occurrence, often-defying explanation. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. From the phrase to the subject, predicate and object this sentence is replete with singularities, but not only in sciences sense. The Bible introduces the first bit of information that in the beginning of the creation of the universe, He created redundantly speaking that selfsame universe. Every beginning, obviously, is a singularity, and in this phrase the term fits mathematical and scientific criteria. The sentence also introduces the information that God is the one who actually began this creation of heaven and earth. So, In the beginning, God
is probably the most singular statement ever spoken and written.
Psa. 148:5 Let them praise the name of the LORD, For He commanded and they were created.
Why do we understand most of this sentence? We have language. How we get language, is not a simple question. Obviously, we are taught to speak by our parents, for the most part. But that does not entirely answer the question. How come we can learn to speak a language from Mandarin to English? Just as God is the One who speaks, He created people in His image, in the image of God He made them. Thus, He made people to speak as He does, but this is still too simple an explanation.
The answer lies in the brain and physiology of all who speak from the croaking frog to the prattling fool. Since God, the One who speaks, must give language to those made in His image, He must also give the body the means to learn language and use it. The human brain must use language because it was made to use it. Therefore, it is virtually impossible for a human not to talk in whatever language including math and music. Amazingly, God fitted the brain with all it needs to allow language with all word denotations and connotations and syntax to reside in its cerebral cortex. And, God created the vocal folds, lungs, and diaphragm to create speech, and the eyes and fingers, with natural resources, to transcribe sounds onto material and thus preserve it in writing.
How to Communicate Thoughts
If a person starts talking to me in the singsong Mandarin, even though I can understand the sounds and maybe even transcribe it in IPA, I cannot comprehend the thought. Why, obviously because that language including its vocabulary and syntax is foreign to me. The same is true with Gods communicating with humans because if He spoke His heavenly language to those of us understanding only human languages, we cannot understand Him either. Even communicating in English, we need to know the word meanings like IPA. From the context, you might guess, for IPA means the International Phonetic Alphabet. But, notice you could figure out the meaning from the context, which means there was enough redundancy to facilitate communication without knowing everything. God does that with us: He must give us enough old information, redundancy, before He can introduce new information. He must decide in advance how He is going to build up a growing body of knowledge based on redundancy from experience and history. More on redundancy below.
Putting Thoughts into Words
This process is called encoding because it entails taking what is in mind and expressing it in sounds, words, and sentences. If a person were bilingual, he would choose which language to think in and then express the thought in that language. It takes energy to make verbalize language, which may seem obvious but has significance, as we will see. When that energy explodes into language, it has the effect, at a maximum, of Let there be light, the energy and power from Gods voice created light. Awesome! But our voices also have effects on things; when we say, sit Fido! It does. When we yell at the right pitch under the right conditions, our voices can cause an avalanche because the sound the voice makes has power to make things happen. When the sergeant says, forward march, even a hundred men step out in unison. When I tell the computer to open a program, amazingly, the program opens, and in some cases, what I say to the computer will result in its typing what was said. When Jesus said, arise and walk, whatever disease afflicted the person obeyed his authority expressed in his voice and left him. When a person or Person expresses his or His wishes or Commands in a righteous or godly manner and to give impetus to Gods Way and plan, the power in the voice or Voice can accomplish amazing things.
The English professor constantly tells the writer not to be redundant, which is all right in an English class but wrong in communication, for all new information must be surrounded by old information. For example, morphemes infix without prefixes or suffixes. Even with the understanding of prefixes and suffixes, what are morphemes and what do they have to do with prefixes and suffixes, and what are infixes after all? Thus, without redundancy new information is useless because there is no basis to decode the meaning. So those who might think God could have given all His Word in the beginning fail to see that people would have no way of understanding, say Passover, before the event took place and the event could not have taken place until all other events preceded the event like Abraham and the covenant.
Morphemes are the smallest group of sounds like pro or anti. Infixes are like a prefix or suffix, but in the middle of the word, which is mostly found in Hebrew.
Rom. 9:4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises,
The Medium Is the Message
All right, so how does God talk to people on Earth from far away in His Heaven? First of all, we do not know where His Heaven is, and while we may know where it was at creation at the center of the universe it could as easily be on the other side of Jupiter or behind the moon. The reason is, our eyes and instruments cannot detect the spiritual universe, for God, Jesus and all the angels are made of spiritual material, invisible to human and electronic type senses. But, there is a medium that God uses that connects certain people to His wavelength, the power of His Spirit.
Obviously, once a message is encoded, it must be sent through a medium to another. In most communication, the medium is simply the air where one person voices his thoughts and the other person hears the voice. Three things happen: the speaker encodes his message, the medium carries the message because of the power in the encoder, and the ear vibrates from the sound of the voice. But, when the medium is not the air, say a telephone wire, the ether, a satellite, the medium itself must provide energy to send the message. A television transmitter powers the video and audio to the antenna connected to the television. The cell phone powers the message to a special antenna that powers it to a satellite or another antenna and finally to the other phone, be it cellular or land line. Even in landline, the various phone companies use a good 30 or 40 volts to send the message.
Now something interesting happens here: if the phone is analog, the actual vibrations are transmitted in electronic pulses emulating the vibration of the voice, but digital transmissions further encode a message and decode it at the end. So God encodes His message, which is further encoded to be sent along the medium of the Spirit and decoded at the end, so humans can understand it. When Gods message is a singularity, like the Ten Commandments, the message is re-encoded into a written language, on stone at first, to be saved for future reference, which then has to be decoded by the reader.
However, not everyone can decode what God says or was transcribed because not everyone has the right decoder. Since the messages sent by God are encoded into Spiritual code, only a person with a Spiritual decoder can decipher the message. Interestingly, the Spiritual message appears as regular words, which need the Spiritual decoder to enable the person to get the full message, as if the message was written on a dual level one for the person without the decoder and the deeper, as it were, for the one with the Spiritual decoder. But, it is not as esoteric as one might imagine because God pours out His Spirit to all who ask and are willing to abide by His Word and Way.
Therefore, what God, being the message of the medium, says comes from Who He is, and that is His message. When He tells the earth to bring forth animals, His message is the loving God who provides. When He says don't murder, His message is the life He created in people cannot be taken away for evil motives, for He is the God who loves. Execution of murderers is a long story, which cannot be gone into here. When the scientist uses math to understand or work with matter, he has received communication from the Creator whether he believes it or not.
In all communication, there is interference which either stifles or makes the message difficult to understand. In a noisy room, it is hard to be heard. If there is a lot of lightning when using the cell phone, the channel to the repeater station or the satellite is filled with noise making communication difficult. Though not technically interference a persons listening may be interrupted for whatever reason and this noise prevents proper encoding of the message. A person receiving a message may be distracted and not hear the complete thought do to his own personal noise.
When God speaks, most listeners have too much noise in their lives to receive the message. Jesus uses the parable of the seeds to show Satans noise takes the word away by his deceptions. Or, a person forgets the Word because a noisy mind prevents the word from staying in the mind. And, the noise of the ways of society, the idolatry of riches and worries about their lives keeps the Word from reaching the mind of a person. Everything should work, but the noise in the decoders apparatus skews the message.
Everything Is Language
Language is two-way communication. When one sends a message to another, the other responds to the message. When God communicated with Noah, he responded by building an ark. When God communicated with Abraham, he believed Gods promises and proved it by attempting to sacrifice his son. When God communicated with Israel through Moses, they put blood around their doors and the angel of death avoided their households. When God communicates with people, they all respond in words and actions, for actions are a form of communication look at a mime or some silent motion pictures. Look at a persons expression when told a tragic tale or a really funny joke. These expressions communicate.
When a mechanic fixes a car, he has communicated with it on the level of mechanical language, on a nuts and bolts level. When a computer technician reprograms an errant operating system, he has communicated on a digital level of zeros and ones. When the master whistles, his dog comes running, he has communicated on an animal level. From a raised eyebrow to a cricket scratching his legs, everything is language.
Languages Accomplish Things
To add to the picture, a word can heal or scar, command or incite, design a house or dynamite an old building, create a universe or disavow the Creator. Language can inspire and build or dishearten and destroy. Even the brain communicates to every part of the body, which in turn reacts and interacts with the brain. More than communication and interaction, language is everything.
How God Communicates with People
As previously stated, only certain people can receive communication or information from God because of the receiver God installs in their minds from the beginning. With the decoder, called the Spirit of God, upgrading the human mind, God speaks to His People through His Word, through everything around the believer, through the prowess of the human mind. He spoke to Abraham by citing the stars of the sky; He spoke to Moses from the burning bush; He spoke to Egypt by the plagues; He spoke to mankind by words and actions of His only begotten Son. In the still of the night, those who are His communicate with Our Father in Heaven in the language of the Spirit, through the Spirit and in the Spirit.
The human brain as the decoder can add missing information, recreate garbled messages, and hear isn't for aint. While this is good in terms of communication, the bad thing is a person will misunderstand the Bible in terms of his culture, background, and education (or mis-education). Therefore, when the Bible says remember the Sabbath or God is One Person, people decode Sunday for Sabbath and trinity for monotheism. Most people hear and see according to their preconceived notions, not what actually is said or enacted. Memory has the same problem. For that reason, an honest and good person will strive mightily to hear and see rightly and to review the Word of God daily to enhance a presumptive memory.
Mark 4:12 So that while seeing, they may see and not perceive, and while hearing, they may hear and not understand, otherwise they might return and be forgiven.
John 16:13 But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.
God decodes His spiritual thoughts into the Word, which is carried in the channel of the Spirit to the minds of believers who have the Spirit that decodes and assists believers to act on the Word. And when believers pray in and do works of the Spirit, they respond to Gods message, Who in turn responds to what was said and done. God created man in His image as the God who has language, or languages. All, therefore, is Language.